Author Topic: Faking the moon landings  (Read 59160 times)

Offline Allan F

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #510 on: August 16, 2019, 02:28:25 PM »
How much lunar regolith should they have processed to get - say - a kilogram of He-3? A million ton? A billion ton?
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline sts60

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #511 on: August 16, 2019, 02:43:20 PM »
NASA say they travelled to and from the moon nine times in less than four years, and all they did was bring back more moon rocks.
Umm... there's not really a whole lot else on the moon to bring back other than moon rock (although, as previously pointed out, it wasn't just rocks, it was also core samples, regolith, oh and of course a fair few bits of the Surveyor 3 probe).

What should they have brought back? Cheese? String soup? An actual Clanger?
cambo’s assertion is incorrect.  They also set up several nuclear-powered robotic laboratories, the ALSEPs, which returned thirty gigabits of selenological and space environment data for over five years after the last Apollo crew left.  This data was received at tracking stations around the world and is publicly available via NSSDC. 

Did you know that, cambo?

By the way, active science is still being done based on Apollo data and samples.  I was at a seminar at Goddard Space Flight Center last year in which Apollo 17 geologist Harrison Schmitt and fellow scientists were discussing their ongoing research.

Offline Von_Smith

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #512 on: August 16, 2019, 03:20:26 PM »
How much lunar regolith should they have processed to get - say - a kilogram of He-3? A million ton? A billion ton?

Easy enough to do with your pocket zero-point energy generators.  But even though you have those, you still need the He-3 for your fusion reactors for reasons.

Offline Allan F

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #513 on: August 16, 2019, 03:34:11 PM »
The idea is fusion energy without stray neutrons, but He-3 is much more difficult to fuse than deuterium-tritium. The temperature needed to effect fusion is double or triple what D-T fusion requires.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline raven

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #514 on: August 16, 2019, 04:22:55 PM »
I'd be interested in knowing how long cambo thinks a plane can remain in free-fall. Without, you know, actually being in orbit.
Ala Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, no doubt: throw yourself at the ground . . . and miss.
Which, if you think about it, is actually a pretty good description of an orbit.

Offline AtomicDog

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #515 on: August 16, 2019, 07:30:40 PM »
Interesting article about the dynamics of zero-g parabolic flight:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598414/



"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." - Isaac Asimov

Offline Von_Smith

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #516 on: August 16, 2019, 08:16:04 PM »
I'd be interested in knowing how long cambo thinks a plane can remain in free-fall. Without, you know, actually being in orbit.
Ala Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, no doubt: throw yourself at the ground . . . and miss.
Which, if you think about it, is actually a pretty good description of an orbit.

I had a physics professor who made precisely that comparison!  He even mentioned Douglas Adams.

Offline Peter B

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #517 on: August 17, 2019, 10:29:59 AM »
Even at the time, there were people who were mad that as much was spent on Apollo as was.  People thought the money could better be spent on Earth (neglecting to understand, of course, that they didn't just fire the money out into space, and that every penny of it was spent on Earth and provided jobs and so forth) and wanted the program scrapped in favour of practically anything else, the "something else" varying depending on the particular hobbyhorse of the person in question.  Getting the political will to keep funding the program once Nixon wanted it scrapped simply wasn't there...

With the greatest of respect to Gillianren, I've never liked this argument.

Sure, the money was all spent here on Earth, and sure it gave jobs to hundreds of thousands of people. But the infrastructure they built was (to a large extent) "fired out into space".

The key point about people saying "the money should have been spent on Earth" when they criticise Apollo is not the implication that Apollo's money wasn't spent on Earth, but that the infrastructure didn't stay on Earth (and didn't provide any real direct benefit to the nation).

If Kennedy's challenge had been to build a network of hospitals or schools, instead of Apollo, then hundreds of thousands of people could still have been employed and billions of dollars spent, and on top of that the nation would have had an enormous suite of useful stuff that would have provided a much bigger return on investment than Apollo managed.

For me, another way of looking at it is Public Art. The government of the Australian Capital Territory, where I live, is often coming in for criticism for its funding of public art. Over the years, a couple of million dollars have been spent commissioning artists to create sculptures which are dotted around the city. Sure, it's kept a few artists employed, but what they've constructed doesn't serve any practical purpose - it's just intended to make the city more interesting. But as some have pointed out, in theory the money could have been allocated to funding other activities that might have employed/benefited more people directly. (Personally I like most of it.)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #518 on: August 17, 2019, 12:35:08 PM »
If Kennedy's challenge had been to build a network of hospitals or schools, instead of Apollo, then hundreds of thousands of people could still have been employed and billions of dollars spent, and on top of that the nation would have had an enormous suite of useful stuff that would have provided a much bigger return on investment than Apollo managed.

This is probably true.  However, in American politics, "building a network of hospitals or schools" smacks of Robin Hood economics, which is a hard thing to get public funding for under most incarnations of the Congress.  Apollo has a wow factor that is easier to make more appealing to some Congresses.  This doesn't directly the rebut the argument that public funding for a more universally applicable infrastructure would have resulted in an overall greater public good.  It states instead that if that had been the nominal goal, the money probably would not have been appropriated at all.  Therefore the benefit would not have been realized.  Sometimes, if you want people to spend money on a worthy cause, you have to wrap that cause in something they will agree to fund.  The worthiness itself is not necessarily politically viable.  It's still a weak argument; it still sounds a little like a straw man.  But I feel it's important to identify some of these nuances.

From the engineering perspective, Apollo produced a lot of know-how that wouldn't necessarily have been created otherwise, and in industries besides aerospace.  A lot of progress in engineering is depressingly incremental.  Project budgets don't allow for more than a modicum of innovation on each project, because those appear in the cost column and must be judiciously controlled within the scope of the bid.  Apollo allowed for giant strides in design, manufacturing, and testing methods in many fields of engineering that then become part of their normal methods.  The cost-plus basis basically allowed companies to accept a small, fixed profit in exchange for relatively few limits on what they spent.  Sometimes it's as simple as just modernizing processes with existing (but expensive) equipment and techniques.  Apollo paid for their development, and the rest of the nation reaped the rewards in everything those companies made using those methods after Apollo was finished.  We engineers don't care whether the "giant leap" project is for rockets or hospitals, so long as we get the giant influx of cash that's need to explore alternatives in a less conservative fashion.  Again, the end product in Apollo's case is still exotic machines that you throw away, and civil engineering installations with limited future use.  So there's still room for improvement when you look at the actual product.  But the "money spent here on Earth" still ripples through all American business.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Von_Smith

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #519 on: August 17, 2019, 01:48:26 PM »
If Kennedy's challenge had been to build a network of hospitals or schools, instead of Apollo, then hundreds of thousands of people could still have been employed and billions of dollars spent, and on top of that the nation would have had an enormous suite of useful stuff that would have provided a much bigger return on investment than Apollo managed.

This is probably true.  However, in American politics, "building a network of hospitals or schools" smacks of Robin Hood economics, which is a hard thing to get public funding for under most incarnations of the Congress.
 

Building networks of schools and hospitals isn't a traditional function of the national government in the U.S with the notable exception of the VA health system.  The federal government didn't even have a Department of Education until 1980.  So it wouldn't even have been part of a serious conversation about what to spend federal funds on, with or without Apollo.

On the other hand, keeping an aerospace technology edge on the Soviets *was* generally accepted as a legitimate national priority.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 01:51:35 PM by Von_Smith »

Offline bknight

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #520 on: August 17, 2019, 03:59:52 PM »
IIRC Reverend Abernathy was ay the Cape pleading(my connotation not necessarily what his action were) feeding the poor and providing housing for the poor instead of spending the money on going to the Moon.  Those requests were the beginning of a multi decade long entitlement programs that far outlived the Apollo program.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline raven

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #521 on: August 17, 2019, 05:12:08 PM »
On the other hand, you could make that argument about any public science funding. A far bigger misuse, in my opinion, of the public dollar is that glorious euphemism of 'defence' spending.  NASA, even in its moonshot days, is a paltry pittance to that.

Offline MBDK

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #522 on: August 17, 2019, 09:19:52 PM »
The key point about people saying "the money should have been spent on Earth" when they criticise Apollo is not the implication that Apollo's money wasn't spent on Earth, but that the infrastructure didn't stay on Earth (and didn't provide any real direct benefit to the nation).
I would counter with the results of actual studies that reveal the extent to which space exploration HAS provided real direct benefit to the nation (and world).  Such as this article, and its quote below:
https://interestingengineering.com/is-it-worth-it-the-costs-and-benefits-of-space-exploration

"The list goes on and on, but to break it down, a 2002 study conducted by George Washington University's Space Policy Institute indicated that on average, NASA returns $7 to $21 back to the American public through its Technology Transfer Program. That's a pretty significant return on investment, especially when you consider the other ways in which it has paid off."
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Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #523 on: August 18, 2019, 09:32:33 AM »

cambo’s assertion is incorrect.  They also set up several nuclear-powered robotic laboratories, the ALSEPs, which returned thirty gigabits of selenological and space environment data for over five years after the last Apollo crew left.  This data was received at tracking stations around the world and is publicly available via NSSDC. 

Did you know that, cambo?

Of course he doesn't.

I've no doubt that he'll huff, puff and bluster, and then hand-wave it away with some nonsense like "the data is streamed from LEO satellites". The man is a wilfully ignorant fool and all that he is doing here is trolling. He has no intention of learning anything or challenging his "thinking".

I'm at the point where I think that the best response is to not feed the troll.
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline Obviousman

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Re: Faking the moon landings
« Reply #524 on: August 18, 2019, 05:04:17 PM »
I'm at the point where I think that the best response is to not feed the troll.

Correct. They are either an idiot, willfully ignorant or a troll. In any case, wasting time on them isn't worthwhile.

(Unless, of course, you are really bored and kicking the cat just doesn't cut it anymore)